Ras el hanout, or ‘top of the shop’ as my spice box tells me, is a North African spice blend. Google tells me that it contains up to 27 herbs and spices. I tell myself that I’d much rather buy it pre-made than attempt to make my own. I also tell myself it tastes mighty fine on pumpkin, so here we are.
We’ve entered blood orange season here in Australia, and I’ve been buying up like crazy. I dehydrate them, eat them alone, or put them on fancy coconut yoghurt breakfast tarts, like this one. A good time is had all round.
I am a huge fan of fruit in salads, so I decided to add some of my blood orange stash to this pumpkin dish. The orange neutralizes the heat from the ras el hanout (why yes, my spice tolerance is zero) and cuts through the rice brown sugar pumpkin. The salad is vegan, gluten free, and FODMAP Friendly. Life goes on without onion and garlic, guys. It just needs a bit of ras el hanout sprinkled on it.
You can buy ras el hanout at an African grocer, a fair few specialty spice stores (I bought mine at my local health food store in North Fitzroy, but I’d say The Essential Ingredient, Gerwerzhaus
FOR THE RAS EL HANOUT AND BROWN SUGAR ROASTED PUMPKIN:
- 750g pumpkin (I use Kent because it is the lower FODMAP variety)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 handful of mint
- 1/2 cup(ish) plain coconut yoghurt (to your taste)
- Preserved lemon herb sauce (you will likely have some leftover, here and here are some other uses)
- 2-3 blood oranges, peeled (is this the right terminology for oranges?) and chopped as you fancy
- Optional: a handful of toasted almonds
- Optional: a squeeze of lemon or lime juice
METHOD FOR THE RAS EL HANOUT AND BROWN SUGAR ROASTED PUMPKIN:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Mix together the spices and oil for the pumpkin in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub the mixture evenly into the pumpkin pieces. Set aside.
- Once the oven is ready, line a baking tray with paper (to save any leftover crystallised sugar n spice mix) and lay the pumpkin on the tray. Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining spice oil evenly across the pumpkins.
- Cook the pumpkin anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour – this depends largely on how thick and chunky you like it. I personally like mine quite thick and chunky.
- To serve, assemble the pumpkin on your platter, and arrange the remaining ingredients around it. Serve while warm.